The Catholic Church leader of Nagasaki called for joint efforts for peace during the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Friday, August 6.
“We have to make many efforts toward renewal, to recreate the human spirit by insisting on the importance of the practice of love taught and showed by Jesus Christ,” said Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki in an interview with Vatican News.
“We know that a world without nuclear weapons does not automatically make for peace,” he said, adding that abolishing nuclear weapons is one of the challenges the world has to face.
The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing an estimated 140,000 people.
It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000, resulting in the surrender of Japan on Aug. 15, 1945, bringing an end to the Second World War.
Archbishop Takami stressed the importance of always working for peace as he recalled the call of Pope Francis during his 2019 visit to Japan to work for peace and protect life.
The prelate urged all countries to continue promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and make the world free from nuclear weapons.
During the anniversary ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Friday, the city’s mayor, Kazumi Matsui, also called on world leaders to commit to nuclear disarmament.
“Nuclear weapons, developed to win wars, are a threat of total annihilation that we can certainly end, if all nations work together,” Vatican News quoted Matsui.
“No sustainable society is possible with these weapons continually poised for indiscriminate slaughter,” he added.
In a video message, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres affirmed that “the only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination.”
He also reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to working towards achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.